The hybrid cloud makes everything better. It's helping drive down costs, it's making the software we use to run our data centers easier, and it's pushing innovation. The public cloud has stolen the headlines for years, and for good reasons. A lot of exciting innovations in the public cloud have been happening and will continue to happen. Even though innovation excels in the public cloud, we find ourselves drawn back to our private data centers because companies need access to the data in those private data centers. This data fuels the business. Traditional technology companies that have focused on private data centers have listened and are starting to adopt a hybrid methodology.
1. Hybrid Cloud Can Reduce Cost
Competition is a good thing. It pushes everyone to do their best, to listen to the customer's request, and provides choice for consumers. Choice lets consumers decide between two or more products. It allows consumers to evaluate features of multiple products and decide if the cost is worth the investment. Private data center customers have more choices today than ever before. Customers can save money by reducing their hardware footprint. Servers in a private data center are paid upfront and are provisioned based on a company's peak utilization. The cost is the same whether workloads are idle or at maximum capacity. Additional server utilization may be seasonal or is only needed during a specific timeframe. Hybrid cloud allows us to stop over-provisioning workloads on-premises and move that extra compute power to the cloud, thus helping reduce costs because of the new options the hybrid cloud provides.
2. Reduction in Complexity
Every IT shop wants a well-maintained infrastructure. We don't want servers to go down, switches to burn out, or applications to stop. There's a lot of moving parts when you own the whole stack. You have to worry about cooling the servers, powering equipment, protecting equipment from theft or damage—and this is just layer one. The public cloud manages everything at the physical layer, so that's one less thing IT groups have to worry about. The real advantage of reducing complexity is when you can offload everything below layer seven, and only worry about the application.
Public cloud and Software-as-a-Service companies provided this new way of allowing customers to access their applications and data, but without the need to maintain the underlying infrastructure. Traditional data center companies have taken note and are providing the same level of service. These vendors are now providing their services as a cloud-based offering where the control plane and infrastructure hardware is updated and maintained by them. Offloading software upgrades from the on-premises systems administrators and for the admins to not worry about 2 a.m. service calls because of a hardware failure. Isn't this what we're after? Trying to reduce the complexity of our environments.
3. A Platform for Business Innovations
Speed is the name of the game in today's business world. Getting new products and services out and into the customer's hands is everyone's goal today. Public cloud enables companies to test new services faster than ever before. Services in the cloud are ready to be consumed and can be tested with the swipe of a credit card. This allows companies to test new services, fail, and move on to test the next service faster. No more waiting for hardware to arrive and be provisioned for a single test that could last weeks, if not months. Instead, this time is used to test and develop new services.
Innovation doesn't always come in the form of technology. From a financial perspective, the cloud provides the ability to purchases services as an operating expense. On-prem equipment is usually purchased as a capital expense. Capital expenses (CapEx) are usually paid upfront and depreciate over multiple years. Operating expenses (OpEx) are used to run the business and are paid monthly or annually. Items classified as CapEx take longer to get approvals from management or require C-level approval because all the money is needed upfront for those purchases. When IT requests a purchase for hardware, the business needs all the money now. Public cloud is an OpEx consumption model, and data center vendors are helping customers move away from the CapEx model and into the OpEx model. Data center vendors are providing consumption-based models to on-prem data center customers and offering them a pay as you go model, which closely represents a cloud purchases model of paying for only what you use and gives the flexibility to consume additional resources during peak times, but for private data centers.
The rise of public cloud has given companies the ability to quickly test out new services to see if they meet desired requirements with little financial investment from the organization. A reduction in timing and ability to fail fast allows the company to find the right choice and get their own services to market faster. Linking the public cloud to the private data center so cloud services can access company data is the ideal architecture. This hybrid cloud model is helping people get excited about IT again. It's allowed for new services to be explored and offered to customers. The customers are getting better products, sometimes at a reduced price. With flexibility comes complexity. Moving our daily tasks to a more managed service offering will offer less complexity because there's less to worry about. These new options are forcing old technology companies to innovate and bring new offerings to their customers. These new offerings don't have to be technical—they can be new payment offerings. No matter how you look at it, the hybrid cloud just makes everything better.